10 Higher Utility Bill Creators With Heating and AC Service
Culprit #1: Houseguests. In addition to causing your stress level to rise, houseguests can also cause your energy bill to spike. More people in the house means more dishes to wash, more folks taking showers (we hope) and more bodies creating heat, causing you to lower the air conditioning to keep those pesky guests comfortable. Next year, insist on going to their house.
Culprit #2: Electronics. If you used your recent bonus to buy a fancy new TV, stereo system or computer, you may be in for a disturbing energy bill. Not only are these devices energy hogs, you’re likely to spend a lot more time playing with your new toy than you did with the old one.
Culprit #3: “Vampire” appliances. Most gadgets in your home suck electricity even when they’re turned off. That’s because most appliances don’t truly turn off; they simply go into standby mode so they can be turned on more quickly or carry out a pre-scheduled task such as DVRing a show or brewing a cup of coffee at a set time.
Culprit #4: Old appliances. Although purchasing new energy-efficient appliances means parting with some money up front, you can save more in the long run. A newer refrigerator uses about four times less electricity than an older model.
Culprit #5: Inappropriate clothing. If you like to snuggle with blankets in the dead of summer or walk around in a t-shirt and shorts in the winter, you’re more likely to adjust your thermostat accordingly. Making appropriate clothing choices can make a big impact: a light long-sleeved sweater adds about 2 degrees in added warmth.
Culprit #6: Faulty equipment. Air-conditioning units and hot water heaters are the two biggest offenders. Hot water heaters are particularly bad because they don’t make noise to indicate they’re running. Make sure these two big guys are up to snuff.
Culprit #7: Improper insulation. How many times can we say this? Insulation is important in keeping your home both comfortable and energy-efficient. Both the structure of your house and the appliances within it need to be insulated.
Culprit #8: Neighbors. This one is unlikely, but if you feel you’re taking appropriate preventative measures and your utility bills are still high, you may want to keep an eye out. People who live in apartments, townhomes or closely packed neighborhoods are at risk for suspicious neighbors to snitch a little energy here and there.
Culprit #9: Estimated electricity bills. Nearly all gas and electricity companies use estimates because it’s too expensive and labor-intensive to read every single meter, especially when many are difficult to access. If you feel your “estimated” bills are unfair, schedule an appointment for your meter to be read when you’ll be there to let the employee in.
Culprit #10: You haven’t called F.H. Furr yet. Okay, this one is a little self-serving. But our whole house comfort checkup can find tiny leaks and other problems that contribute to big utility bills.